Volume 95, Issue 45

Wednesday, November 21, 2001
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Can-Lit greatness discovered in an Ash Garden

Nothing beats a 15-year-old pianist

Suicide Machines far from dead

Cranberries rule Cherry in the fruit bowl

Suicide Machines far from dead

By Dan Bowyer
Gazette Staff

Bob Alford/Universal

When thinking of famous musicians who call Detroit, Michigan home, the likes of Eminem and Kid Rock quickly come to mind.

However, the unknown diamonds in the Motown rough may be the four guys who make up ska-punk sensations, The Suicide Machines.

Formed in 1991, the idea of starting a band, getting signed and being huge rock stars is foreign to The Suicide Machines. According to frontman Jason Navarro, they simply wanted to have fun and prolonged success in the music industry has been an unexpected, but welcome by-product.

"I don't understand how it got this far," Navarro says. "I couldn't tell you how it happened, it just did."

A decade later, the band has enjoyed substantial studio success, including their recent album, Steal This Record, which will be available in Canada in the new year.

Although the influence of punk and ska forerunners Operation Ivy and The Bad Brains can be heard on the album, Navarro maintains that The Suicide Machines' new album is extremely diverse and experimental, noting it features the strong mix of punk, ska, hardcore and metal the band is famous for.

"The first song ["The Killing Blow"] is weird, that's why it's on the record," Navarro laughs.

Aside from the success of their albums, the band has also been successful on tour, having hit the road countless times with the likes of Weezer, No Doubt and Less Than Jake.

The latest tour, which included a stop at Call The Office on Nov. 17, has been one of their most memorable, although attendance has been down in the United States this time around.

Navarro speculates that the tragic events of Sept. 11 may be to blame. "People are weirded out about letting their kids out of the house," Navarro suggests.

That aside, The Suicide Machines will persevere, making music for their fans in a constantly changing scene.

Emo bands are popping up left, right and centre within the band's target market, however Navarro doesn't see this as a problem. "I'd much rather hear an emo band on the radio than *N Sync," he says.

But no matter what changes affect the scene, The Suicide Machines are set to continue touring all year, bringing their mish-mash of ear candy to whomever will listen.

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